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Cultivating curatorial habits of mind through studentcreated exhibitions

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This article presents a descriptive and analytical account of a semester-long partnership between museum educators and high school students piloting the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards Visual Arts Model Cornerstone Assessment. To mentor the students through their task of curating a themed art exhibition of their own work at school, museum educators modelled curatorial strategies, best practices, and lines of questioning that the students later adapted and applied to their own exhibition planning process. The resulting collaboration reveals the deeply authentic, if under-recognized, relationship between curatorial practice and art education practice and offers a compelling case for breaking down traditional barriers between curators and museum educators in order to create a generative space in which to cultivate student curators across multiple disciplines.
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Keywords: art education; curatorial practice; curators; exhibition; museum educators; student-created exhibitions

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Smithsonian American Art Museum

Publication date: 2017-03-01

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  • The scope of the journal is broad and is aimed at facilitating a wide spectrum of perspectives. It is essentially a medium for engaging the rich and multifaceted process of learning and teaching art that takes place in the classroom, studio, and beyond. However, the seriousness of journal is not out weighed by making critical topics accessible and readable to a large constituency of readers. It is a forum to be reflective on the process of creating and teaching art, embrace teaching art in a variety of contexts, engage art appreciation experiences, share scholarship in teaching artistry, and celebrate the rich traditions of art making and teaching.
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